Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Lonely Borc Club

No posts this week of which I'm sorry for that. I was sitting trying to think and motivate myself to write something but it's been a fairly  hectic week at work and I really just wanted to chill for the weekend. I think one of the problems is that a lot of friends have now left the game and although the guild is still going strong and potentially is as strong as ever when people you have levelled up with, been through the first city dungeons all the way to killing colossus decide that WAR is no longer for them then the drive you have drops as well.

I'm still RR80 as well and know that once I hit RR81 the real grind starts and I'm really not looking forward to it with the more limited time I have now. I've been into two Skaven instances, both of which was double the number of Order to Destruction so it was pointless trying anything, normally had there been a group of us then we would have given it a shot but on my own, I won't bother. Heck, even on Friday night I sat down with a few beers to get something going and ended up just pugging EC for most of the night till I got so bored of it I just had to log out, that was also because there wasn't a lot of guildies on due to a RL meet up, but we used to get a good group going on a Friday night which was always a laugh, though with them now experiencing a cataclysm I think I can pretty much wipe out those nights as well now.

It always amazes me that really for a lot of people in a game it's the community which makes it for them, not the game itself. If you find yourself with a good bunch of people that you get on well with and can have a laugh and chat with then it makes even the buggiest game a lot more enjoyable. To be honest there's plenty of folks in the guild I can group with (although our healers have disappeared so balanced groups are a bit tricky outwith warband nights), so again some of that comes down to me though I guess being used to playing with set people and knowing exactly what each other does without even needing to speak on vent or TS has spoiled me.

There's also a bit of frustration right now with TTK. I loved being a huge mountain but now I realised that quite simply I get ignored as it's not worth the time to try and kill a tank, meanwhile I'm sitting hitting on a WP that is completely ignoring me as I'm doing hardly any damage, my debuffs are on long durations and he's immune to silence most of the time due to other CC effects kicking in. So I literally feel fairly useless right now, however this is also due to my spec and setup so I won't get overly frustrated.

One of the things I have to admit I'm disappointed the most in is the scenario matchmaking system. It's either a hugely simplistic and basic mechanic or it's broken. Yesterday I ran 10 pugged EC's, 8 of them were against premade groups with high renown players. Now either there wasn't enough destro premades running (our guild had two at the time) or the matchmaking just looks at something such as Rank and Renown Rank to give you the rating and then tries to fit you in somewhere and if nothing is found around your RR then just chucks you into the first available instance, and for the record I think I lost all 10 of my first instances and was still getting premades against pugs so either those premades from the best guilds on the server with the best players were losing a lot to be ranked beside pugs or really it doesn't work very well within the confines of a single server. I would rather wait a little bit longer for a scenario pop and know I'd get a balanced fight than get instant pops where I know I wont get any renown or fun.

Which nicely leads me onto what I think could be a huge injection of OMG for WAR... One which I have been against for a long time but now believe it's needed for the game. A proper "arena" style system which uses queues for all servers in the game, with a visible rating system for your team. A currency/token system which rewards you gear that can only be used in the arenas (imagine skaven fighting pits where they reward you with warpstone fragments that can be used to purchase better gear, though if you go out to the world the warpstone loses it's power rendering the armour and weapons useless other than for appearance *hint hint*). To me right now that would be awesome, it would give premade groups something a lot better to aim for rather than farming pugs and hopefully would give pugs a bit of a break from being constantly farmed in scenarios for 15 minutes as the objectives are ignored.

Ach well, I'll get back into the swing of things for WAR, need to find some motivation again for it as all I see right now is a huge grind ahead of me.....

Monday, 22 November 2010

What a Week for WAR

It's been potentially the biggest week for Warhammer Online since launch and I've not posted a soddin' thing so apologies for that but life has been busy with the launch of a new project at work and weekend just seems to have conspired against me to sit down and get time to write. On the upside I have a few good ideas for filler posts which you should see each week now, at least it'll tide me on until the new year.

So what has this week brought us? Well the big news was the release of 1.4 which I have to admit was much smoother than anticipated so a big WAAAAGH to the Mythic team for putting the hours in to get it going and we also had a great Dev Q&A on uStream which was very well done as well, much preferred the laid back style and felt much more chatty and fun. I hope to see more of these soon, preferably on a Friday or Thursday when I don't have work the next day *hint hint*

Back onto 1.4 though, and yeah it launched well, smoother than expected but not without some concerns. The main one that I think everyone is talking about though is the speed of the campaign, it's actually going much faster than before, to the extent that I doubt we'll see a 5* city again until they adjust the amount of resources required/produced. Also there seems to be a campaign bug which lets you capture bo's and keeps even when the zone is locked and even the whole pairing which was really confusing.

The RR80-81 Renown increase is really sneaky as well, gives you an OMG LOTZ O' PURPLEZ ON MAH SCREEN!!! which gives you one heck of a rush to see a 20k scenario, the sudden drop to normality will hit soon at 81 though and then the real grind begins.

So what will yet come for WAR? Well we know 1.4.1 is a bug fix patch so I'm not holding out for anything exciting really, after that I'd really like to see a focus on balancing classes a bit more again. WP/DoK are still the apex healers without a shadow of a doubt, the others don't even come close, best heals and best survivability will trump anything sadly. I'd also like to see more care and thought into the other less viable careers but I'd prefer that other classes get nerfed down rather than buffed as continually buffing of classes will leave certain ones way far behind and less enjoyable to play. It's a fine line with balancing classes but I hope that Mythic open up discussions with players on how best to tackle the changes.

The Skaven themselves are offering an interesting option to go alongside a warband but we certainly would never get a player to change to one due to limited usefulness. Currently we've found the Gutter Runner to be the best due to the passive scouting he offers players in the area so there's no need to sacrifice a warband member for it. Being able to see a warband sneaking up on you has saved us and turned a rout into a victory a few times already. I would however like to see a counter spying mechanism so if you have a skaven 'switch off' his scouting by using an ability he can plant false information making other skaven unable to feed back as well.

There's interesting times ahead for WAR that's for sure, if this expansion has been a success and the players returning to try it out for free choose to stay then we're onto a winner for sure.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The other items in 1.4 that we'll see

Well by all accounts if you're a WAR player you know about the 1.4 release coming on Thursday and there has been a lot of noise over Doomflayer and Warpforged armour sets as well as the new scenario weapons for 81, 90 and 100 but what about between those ranks?

Well on the PTS last night with an organised guild 3groups (well as organised as we can get on a Friday night) we went out out to the lakes to test it out. I wont go into the detail, my feedback can be found in the dev discussion forum but I was happy to discover that decent loot drops for the in between portions of those ranks, the scary thing is that the RR80 greens are better (item v item) than sovereign, however they don't come with bonuses but it should be a good way to introduce new parts into your armour rather than waiting 10 ranks thankfully. Here's a couple of screenshots I grabbed of loot that dropped in RvR (and thankfully someone put some greens on the auction house). I didn't see any weapons drop but I'll come to that in a minute.

Thanquols Invasion Bag Loot
Now we know that gold bags on the second and third boss drop doomflayer and warpforged respectively however the green bags on boss one (there's no gold), blue from boss two and purple from boss three also have loot inside them, so lets take a look at the hidden shinies:

All these items seem to fit a very nice gap in the gear progression (everyone like progression!). The weapon is very nice as well, giving you an upgrade over the RR81 weapons but letting you save tokens for the Doomflayer ones. I'm not sure if armour drops in the blue bags or if weapons drop in the others but I'm sure someone will mention it or we'll get a better idea closer to the time. In the meantime of course, I'm sitting here wondering if I'll be running about in green items again for the first time in about 2 years

Friday, 12 November 2010

Breakdown of the stats for Black Orc Doomflayer and Warpforged sets

Seems that 90% of my posts recently have been about the sets but such is life when new stuff comes out.

We've gone over the graphics for the sets and it seems to have split the community into a love/hate though I think more dislike it to be perfectly honest, ach well, we always have our appearance system anyway so it's not a huge deal. I think my main annoyance with it is the Doomflayer boots, all other sets from Conqueror onwards have knee and thigh guards so having exposed legs (admittedly with a manky pair of old trousers on) doesn't seem to fit the look with the rest of the armour being all metal bolted on.

But anyway, here are potentially the final stats for the sets. They still don't have resists on them so I guess this was a choice made to prevent the soft cap being obliterated. While the offensive sets look good the major drawback is a lack in crit reduction or initiative on them, you can end up with a 40% chance to be critted for wearing full Doomflayer (without accesories though).

You can fit at least three piece sovereign into the sets as well with the back/belt/jewel in place however the high level cloaks are quite nice as well. In all honesty you can check all this stuff out on the PTS but it's nice to see out of game as well.

Defensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 313
Tough: 510 (-102 DPS and -16 DPS from fortitude)
WS: 196
Init: 293 (10.1% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 788
Armour: 5733
Block: 15%

Offensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 461
Tough: 391 (-86.6 DPS and -0DPS from fortitude)
WS: 378
Init: 123 (40.7% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 747
Armour: 5733
Block: 10%
Damage Bonus: 108.2 DPS
Armour Pen: 18%
Critical Hit Bonus: 6%

Defensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 350
Tough: 595 (-119 DPS and -24 DPS from fortitude)
WS: 196
Init: 335 (5.9% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 834
Armour: 6659
Block: 17%

Offensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 546
Tough: 433(-86.6 DPS and -0DPS from fortitude)
WS: 424
Init: 123 (40.7% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 784
Armour: 6659
Block: 10%
Damage Bonus: 133.2 DPS
Armour Pen: 20.2%
Critical Hit Bonus: 8%

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Doomflayer and Warpforged armour graphics

Well the PTS came up, I managed to take a couple of screenshots then my client crashed and I can't get logged back in as the test realm is full. So you will get the graphics today and time (and the PTS) permitting tomorrow I'll grab screenshots of the full stats for both sets for reference again.

One key thing, the sets DON'T come with belts or back pieces. The rr98 belt is actually the same style as the Warpforged so we can assume it goes together (graphically), but I didn't see a belt that went with the Doomflayer set in my backpack so the Black Orc looks a bit slimmer than normal.

I like the Warpforged set and even the Doomflayer set looks nice however the helm I don't know if I love or hate. I love how it's a big, clunky bit of metal with spikes and bits welded on, but I can't seem to shake the image of a droid from Star Wars when I see it. I think playing around with some dyes could net some interesting results, but in the meantime here we go.

Doomflayer (no belt, no cloak)

Warpforged (with rr98 belt, no cloak)

Monday, 8 November 2010

RR100 Weapon and Shield graphic updates

Straight from the PTS I present the Black Orc RR100 weapons. I love the Deathbringa of Mork and it's glowy red particle effect (as a side note, green glow = offensive, red glow = defensive so it's easier to tell the type of weapon equipped). There's no shield particle effect and the RR100 two handers have the same skin as do both shields. I guess they have time yet to change that so no rush, but hope they will have different looks.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Orc mounts for the Personality pack

They're easily visible in the PTS but they are also beside the three royal crest mounts, so just to make them stand out a bit, these are the three that it appears you can get with the Personality pack. The orange looks confirmed at least due to it showing in the teeny pic of a Black Orc on the site.

I'm more likely to go with the Black/Red mount to replace my Manticore but I am really tempted with the Black/Green as well, just looks very warpstone themed. But no rush yet to decide. I'm just glad that I get my mount Pork back (he's named after the Orcish god of boars).

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Snotling love

Well they released the first set of WAR Microtransactions. Ok, got a Snotling pet and they're seriously cool items. They might be a bit buggy with not moving on other players screens but I'm sure that will be fixed. Hopefully these are just test items and we will start to see more and more things such as these (GIEF WYVERN!). I don't mind spending a few quid on them, it's a hobby, I've spent more on something for a hobby which is a lot worse so meh :P

Anyway, here's Lokax and Tat the Snotling :) (only one person that reads the blog will get the reference... /cheer L)

Quick summary of Borc changes in the 1.4 notes

So the patch notes are now up. I'll quickly summarise any changes that affect Black Orcs for ease of reading:

As you can see, Black Orcs didn't even need a tool tip change this time, we didn't get any item changes and certainly no ability tweaks which is a bit disappointing for potentially the biggest WAR patch yet. Oh well, there's always 1.4.1 but at least we know we're balanced.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Couple o' thingz

First of all, a huge thanks and gratz on a good guild mate MrSpanky the choppa for not only reaching RR80 but also on making a seriously nice banner for me.. Gogo Spanks!

In other random bits of news I've not managed to sit down for a proper test of 1.4 after the first European one but some of it is a bit of WAR burnout as well (not helped by the Tyrant cloak incident). I'm also rapidly running out of random sets to collect so guess I'll be starting to show the more common ones and even open my collection of items up for browsing. I have a couple of other posts in my head but I need to get them onto ePaper really as my stockpile has almost run out.

I'll get the brawler guide out within the next two weeks, it's my own mission right now, hopefully it'll be finished up this weekend and I can schedule a post for Monday or so, but no promises. Learnt not to do that from the past.

In other news, someone kindly posted the exact block formula up on my block post so that will be added to make it clearer and the RR81 two handers got updated so edited the post to say what the new DPS is.

Anyway, time to chill with a cuppa for a bit and work out something to do for tonight so have fun all and see you on the battle field.

Oh and seriously Mythic... You've introduced an ability called "Thwap" and then "Thwap!Thwap!Thwap!" Arrrghhh! I don't want ratmen things Thwapping me!!!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Infiltrators (Grime Covered) Set for Black Orcs

The Infiltrator non-set comes from Saccelum Dungeon as a series of green repairable items. They drop as "Grime Covered" items and once repaired they become Infiltrators. There is no set bonus to them, they just have a common appearance and share the same name.

Decent looking pieces though not a fan of the helm. The gloves and boots are nice pieces and they come in a decent red and grey colour system so it all matches up nicely. Anyway, enjoy!